Digital Retailing – The Future of Auto Sales
April 23, 2021
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The all-new 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer recently made their debut and, in keeping with the changing world and forever-altered business practices, they made their debut in the arena with the greatest “foot-traffic” on the planet: online.

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the world in countless ways, including how people prefer to purchase vehicles.

Amazon’s delivery vehicles are now more ubiquitous in most neighborhoods than school buses. There are often more delivery drivers waiting for orders than there are patrons at restaurants. Online shopping has increased dramatically, even for basic items such as groceries, home goods and appliances. Big-box stores now have designated areas in their parking lots for curbside pick-up and delivery services reign supreme.

In line with this trend, the public now also prefers to purchase their vehicles online.

Traditions Are Changing

Conventionally, buyers would visit dealership lots, view the selection of vehicles, talk to the sales people, go for a test drive and discuss financing. All of that has changed significantly in recent times.

People have gotten used to shopping online. Many customers actually prefer it. It’s easy. It’s less stressful. They can do it from the comfort of their homes (or anywhere else, for that matter). They can easily research makes and models without having to visit multiple lots. When it comes to choosing a new vehicle, they can easily access comparison or performance reports for multiple vehicles they may be considering, review the available options, warranties, and after-sales service agreements. And they can do it all without ever leaving home.

As reported in an article in Talk Business & Politics, 98 percent of shoppers want to be able to do some part of the car shopping and buying process online, ‘suggesting that dealers should incorporate at least some aspect of digital retailing into their offerings,’ according to a customer survey by vehicle shopping website Autotrader.

Be Attentive to Customer Needs

Online purchasing may yet be the road less traveled, but that’s changing rapidly. Growth indicators already visible in this particular sector of the industry are something any dealership ignores at their peril.

Prospective buyers increasingly want to interact with a dealership online, and savvy dealerships will consider the revenue potential of fulfilling that demand.

The same Autotrader survey mentioned above also discovered that:

• 86 percent of consumers want to be able to take a 360-degree tour of a vehicle online,
• 59 percent want to reserve a vehicle online for a test drive and
• 57 percent prefer to negotiate online.

Any dealership, keeping abreast of current trends, will understand that a failure to offer the above options to their customers denies an income-stream that is growing by the day.

By 2035, online consumers could be purchasing as many as 1.3 million vehicles annually, says the research firm, Frost & Sullivan. If you need firm evidence that digital retailing is here to stay before you invest in it, consider the following:

1. The internet is here to stay. A growing number of people shop for a wider variety of items, online, every day.
2. Offering potential customers what they need and want, now, puts revenue in your hands rather than those of your competitors who are offering what you don’t.

Take the Plunge With No Regrets

Stellantis demonstrated insightful vision in releasing the 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer online, via livestream, on 11 March, with initial deliveries targeted for late summer of 2021.

How Effective is Digital Retailing?

Last year, GMC did something similar with the release of their Hummer EV, which was so successful it resulted in delivery for some models being pushed out as far as Spring of 2024. Ford opened reservations for the 2021 Bronco in January of 2021, with delivery anticipated for the summer. Currently, per their website, deliveries on some models may be extended into 2022 due to the high number of reservations.

The Wagoneer is expected to compete with large, mainstream SUVs, while the Grand Wagoneer will take on the more expensive luxury rivals.

Both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer offer three-row seating and 120+ standard and available safety and security features that constantly adjust to suit driving conditions and perform hundreds of thousands of calculations every second to keep you and your loved ones safe.

The Wagoneer starts at around $60,000, making it comparable to the Chevy Tahoe or the Ford Expedition, pricewise.

Fully loaded, the Grand Wagoneer will exceed $100,000, in the same class as the Cadillac Escalade or the Lincoln Navigator.

Competitive Marketplace

Online digital retailing is already a large, thriving marketplace, and educated estimates foresee only amplified growth.

Stellantis alone owns in excess of 15 vehicle brands, with roughly 2,600 privately owned dealerships. Carzato, partnering with Stellantis from the digital retailing perspective, currently services approximately 900 dealerships from their platform, securing the sustained future of those dealerships through online retailing.

All indicators are that the groundswell of digital retailing will continue. Don’t get left behind, relying solely on past traditions to which future customers are seeking alternatives.

Stay tuned for more updates on what the new/used market will be looking like in the coming weeks. Be sure to follow us on LinkedInlike us on Facebook, and subscribe to our channel on YouTube.